Why are pharmacists calling patients to conduct a comprehensive medication review?

Why are pharmacists calling patients to conduct a comprehensive medication review?

We have a problem. Health care is expensive! We are paying a higher copay than before each time we see the doctor. Prescription costs are higher. Vitamins and any over the counter medications are not cheap either. No wonder all of us are looking for natural remedies. Not only are medications expensive but we are starting to wonder if the medication is making us sicker. What did our grandparents use?

Health is important, it is not a luxury but a necessity.  “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”  ~Josh Billings.  We want to be able to function, go to work, enjoy making memorable moments with our family and just to have peace of mind that all is well. We also need physicians to help diagnose a sickness. God has given us the ability to develop medications that can help us feel better faster so we need medication. We also need to make another follow up appointment…(which most of us do not do because it is an additional cost), to make sure the medication worked or the condition improved or is no longer a problem.All these steps to health cost money!

What can we do to reduce the burden of health care costs on our income?

Eat healthy. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates.

Stay active. “Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”  ~Edward Stanley

Make changes to our lifestyle getting rid of habits that put us at risk for getting a chronic disease that will cost us a monthly prescription. “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

Sleep. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~Irish Proverb. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise”  ~Benjamin Franklin

If you already have a chronic condition, you can educate yourself on the disease, on your medications and on how to stay under control or even reverse the disease. Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.”  ~Mike Adams

Quotes source: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/quotes-about-health/

Pharmacists are now taking the initiative. We make calls to patients and ask if we can review all your medications with you and address any medication concerns with you or your physician where applicable. We want to make sure you understand the medication, what it is used for and make you aware of the side effects. Yes you can read this up for yourself but for most patients, they pick up the prescription, take it when they remember and take something else for a side effect without any thought of how to avoid the side effect or if there is another alternative to that medication to help relieve the side effect. Remember, every patient is different and will have a different reaction to each medication.

This service known as a comprehensive medication review is conducted by a medication therapy management (MTM) pharmacist. We reach out and make these calls to patients who have been identified by their insurance company as those who could use the medication review. In some cases, we collaborate with your physician and they will refer the patients who could benefit from a medication review. The goal is to give the patient a better outcome from their medication, reduce the possibility of adverse events and to reduce health care costs for the patient and the whole health care system. Unfortunately many patients decline the service! If you get this call and in most cases, your insurance company is paying the pharmacist for this service. You only have to bring all your medications and all your questions and concerns. Find out from your insurance if there will be any cost to you but in most cases, especially with medicare patients, you are allowed to have one comprehensive medication review a year.  The pharmacist will help resolve the concerns by contacting your doctor or helping you with tools or information that will help you have a better outcome from taking your medications.

I know what you are thinking? You can walk up to any pharmacy window and ask any question you may have on your medication. True but there is a better option especially if you have a chronic disease or are on multiple medications. How about a pharmacist sitting down with you face to face or giving you a call at a mutually convenient time to conduct a personalized medication review with you. There are no other calls ringing in the background, no other prescriptions waiting to be filled, no patients waiting in line behind you to see the pharmacist thus causing you to feel rushed. This is a one on one session, no interruptions or rush.

There is more! The MTM pharmacist will give you tools that you can use to remember your medications, what they are for and ways to remember to take them. This educational session is tailored to you so the tools provided will be to help you overcome any challenges you may have. I am talking barriers like cost, physical , mental, social, anything that prevents you from remembering to take your medication. We do our best to find tools and resources that equip you to get healthy.

At the end of the review, you get a take home list of all your medications and a list of the action steps to be taken by either you or your pharmacist in order to resolve the problems identified. There is a follow up call usually to make sure the issues identified were resolved and to make sure the patient has no further questions or problems.

Take advantage of this call. Schedule a day to review all your medications with your MTM pharmacist. I expect you will find the service not only informative and helpful but that you will feel empowered knowing how best to stay healthy, reduce any adverse events and reduce your health care costs.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. All opinions are mine.

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